LAHORE: Turkish businessmen are ready to initiate joint ventures with their Pakistani counterparts as they are convinced that ample opportunities lie in a number of sectors including textiles, construction and energy.
Resul Secilmis, head of a 32-member Turkish delegation, said this while speaking at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) on Monday. The head of the delegation said that Turkey being the second fastest growing economy of the world after China had a lot to offer to Pakistani businessmen.
He called for exchange of business delegations so that both the sides could have first hand knowledge of the opportunities available in the two countries.
Speaking on the occasion, the LCCI President Irfan Qaiser Sheikh said the two-way trade had been averaging $655 million for the last three years, which was too little.
He said that in 1980, Turkish exports were $4 billion, while Pakistan’s were $3.81 billion. Today Turkey is exporting goods worth $114 billion, while Pakistan’s total exports are just $25 billion and Turkey has become the 16th largest economy of the world, he said. “We can strengthen our economy by adopting the development and progress of Turkey as model.”
He said since energy was an important issue for Pakistan’s economic growth and Turkey had vast experience of exploiting hydropower and other energy sources, both the countries should cooperate in this area on priority basis.
“The last year figures have been encouraging because the trade reached $800 million. Our exports increased from $407 million to $644 million. Imports from Turkey increased from $152 million in 2009 to $156 million in 2010.”
He said that the trade between Turkey and Pakistan could be increased to $2 billion. Sheikh said that Pakistani businessmen needed Turkish expertise in food processing and agriculture sectors. The Lahore chamber would be giving top priority to these two sectors, he said.